The Movie Waffler Video Explores the Significance of Ozu’s Vase | The Movie Waffler

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Video Explores the Significance of Ozu’s Vase

A new video essay looks at one of cinema's most famous inanimate objects.


A common complaint among critics of Terrence Malick's recent movies is centred around his refusal to simply focus his camera on his human characters. Personally, it's why I love Malick's resurgence. The world is composed of far more than simply homo sapiens, so why should films devote themselves entirely to our species?

Just as we're surrounded by nature, we also live our lives crowded by inanimate objects, yet there are few such objects that we associate with cinema. There are a few, like Citizen Kane's Rosebud or 2001's monolith, but objects are generally reduced to the role of props.

That's not the case with Japanese filmmaker Yasujirō Ozu. The most famous shot in his acclaimed filmography is not of a human face but of an inanimate object, a vase in the home of the father-daughter protagonists of his 1949 drama Late Spring.

A new video essay from Nerdwriter takes a look at the role played by Ozu's vase, and the unique shot that has fuelled debate among critics for decades. Check it out below.